Celebrating 30 years of passion, excellence and imagination, the New Jersey Choral Society has become one of the most prestigious choral groups in the state, well-known for presenting outstanding and unique programs. Since its founding in 1980, NJCS has expanded from a fledgling group of about 20 choristers to an ensemble of about 90 auditioned singers from around the tri-state area. Founded by John Holly and developed by Lenora Thom, the New Jersey Choral Society is now performing under the baton of dynamic conductor Eric Dale Knapp, accompanied by Linda Sweetman-Waters.
The New Jersey Choral Society’s repertoire is one of the most diverse in the area and each season provides exciting musical opportunities and experiences for the audience. Previous seasons have featured major choral works such as Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Duruflé's Requiem, and Mendelssohn's Elijah. The crowd-pleasing "Pops" concerts have highlighted themes such as "Fascinating Rhythm", "On Stage!", and "A Night at the Oscars" celebrating jazz, Broadway, American standards and world classics, including spirituals, folk and patriotic songs. In 2006, NJCS presented a stirring rendition of the musical Les Misérables, which included dramatic elements, narration, and staging. The group also frequently presents lesser-known masterpieces, such as Schubert's rarely-heard Mirjam's Siegesgesang, Holst's The Cloud Messenger, Tippett's A Child of Our Time, and newer works by American composers, including Mack Wilberg and Eric Whitacre. Recently, an initiative by Maestro Knapp to feature new music has resulted in the presentation of world premieres of works by Terre Johnson, Ed Lojeski, and Joakim Seidevall.
Ever expanding its horizons outside of Bergen County, the New Jersey Choral Society has performed at the White House and made several Carnegie Hall appearances. July 2009 found NJCS singers in Vienna for The International Haydn Festival, and in 2008 in China for Perform in Harmony - With Olympic Spirit, Concerts of International Friendship & Goodwill, in celebration of the XXIX Olympiad, featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Eric Dale Knapp. In July 2006, Maestro Knapp led a massed choir of 250 singers, including NJCS members, for the Voices in the House Music Festivalin Sydney, Australia and NJCS members are returning to Sydney in July 2011. The choir enjoyed solo performance tours of the Czech Republic and Germany in July 2005 and Italy in 1989.
The NJCS annual program consists of a holiday concert in December, a concert of popular and light classical music in March, and a late spring concert of major choral masterpieces and classical selections. Concerts are accompanied by professional musicians, often featuring a sizable orchestra and soloists who complement the rich choral sound. NJCS enjoys the privilege of sharing the stage with many exceptional performers, collaborating with a variety of singers, instrumentalists, and dancers who create a unique concert experience with each performance. Every few years, the choir’s season is supplemented with a Cabaret, a fun-filled evening of popular songs performed by talented NJCS members.
The New Jersey Choral Society is committed to providing exceptional choral music for the local community and beyond. As it embarks on the 30th anniversary season and looks to the future, NJCS will continue to dazzle audiences with its passion, excellence, and imagination….Don’t miss a beat!
The New Jersey Choral Society
P.O. Box 367
Ridgewood, NJ 07451-0367